Ian Harding from Ian&Lozz made contact with Cat On The Wall a few weeks ago asking if we’d like to feature their work in the zine. We instantly fell in love with their unique style of photo-illustration and without hesitation suggested an interview feature….
Cat On The Wall: What’s the story behind Ian&Lozz? How did you meet and what made you join forces to create photo-illustrations?
Ian&Lozz: Ian is a photographer, Lawrence is an illustrator/art director. We met whilst shooting various advertising campaigns when Lawrence was the creative director of an advertising agency in Leeds. The first photo-illustration piece we created was “The Big Shoot”. This began as simply as, “Ian, have you got any shots of girls to use in this concept? “, reply “Why don’t we do this from scratch and shoot some?”. So from there we developed the concept based on the 1950’s film “Attack of the 40ft Woman”. During the creation of these images we discussed other ideas & concepts and then went on to produce more personal projects until eventually we realised we had a enough work for a portfolio.
COTW: What actually is a photo-illustration and how is a picture created?
I&L: It starts with a brief or a random idea. We discuss this and draw inspiration from various websites, imagery, videos, magazines, etc, then this is drawn up into a rough scamp. The elements are then dissected and we put together a plan to shoot. Depending on the concept, Ian might shoot the background, then Lawrence will draw a more detailed visual. From here we plan models & styling and arrange a shoot date. After the shoot all models and elements are retouched and cut out, then illustrative elements are created and blended into the photography. At this point the imagery goes back and forth as we both tweak and amend to ensure everything fits accordingly. As we are both extreme perfectionists this can take some time!
COTW: Your images are very clever and exciting. Can you tell us your inspirations for the artworks? What is your creative process?
I&L: Our inspiration comes from everything around us. The process to us is a very big part of it. There are artists out there who draw on top of photography; what sets us apart from them is the process. We conceive every element from the beginning specifically for the finished image, therefore we control every aspect of how the finished image will look, which means we can convey the exact message to our audience. Because we have been working in this way for a long time it has now become a finally tuned machine!
COTW: Where have your artworks been shown? Where would you like to see them?
I&L: We are planning our first major exhibition now and are talking to galleries in London, with a view to exhibiting in the summer. Of course we would like to be exhibited in the Tate Modern, but one step at a time! We are planning to print everything as a big as possible, HUGE! Hopefully most of it will be at least 10 ft square.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
I&L: We are currently finishing 4 new projects and are in the planning stages of 3 more… We have recently signed with advertising agents Metcalfe & Lancaster to represent us in London and are now looking for representation in New York.
Interview by Jo Whitby